The new longest passenger flight will now take 17 hours

The new longest passenger flight will now take 17 hours
FILE PHOTO: United Airlines planes are parked at their gates at O’Hare International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

There’s a new longest passenger flight by distance, and the reason for it has to do with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The Cathay Pacific flight is from New York to Hong Kong and would typically spend a fair amount of time over Russia. Except now, airlines are trying pretty hard to avoid Russian airspace, so a flight that used to take about 15 hours and cover 13,000 kilometers has turned into one that takes around 17 hours and covers about 16,600 kilometers.

The previous longest flight, a Singapore Airlines flight to and from New York, was more than a thousand kilometers shorter than this new one, and it still took about half an hour longer than this one will.

Key comments:

“We are always running contingency routings for potential events or scenarios,” said a spokeswoman for Cathay. “The Transatlantic option relies on the facilitation of strong seasonal tailwinds at this time of the year in order for the flight time to be between 16 and 17 hours, thereby making it more favorable than the Transpacific route.”

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